J46 THE GAY GENIUS Curiously, this fable was used as testimony at his court trial. The charge was that he was ridiculing the scholars of the time for following blindly the commentaries of Wang Anshih on the classics. Su Tungpo was too complex a character? too many-sided, to be under- stood easily. While he was too good a philosopher to be a puritan, he was also too good a Confucianist to be just a drunk. He understood life too well and valued it too highly just to squander it with wine and women. He was a poet of nature, with that peculiar wholesome mystic view of life which is always associated with a deep and true under- standing of nature. No one, I believe, can live in close touch with nature and its seasons, its snows and rains, its hills and dales, receiving its healing powers, and have a warped mind or a warped view of life. On the ninth day of the ninth moon, 1073, he refused to go to the drinking parties usually held on such a festival. Running away from his friends, he took a boat all by himself. Getting up before dawn, a| was the custom on this festival, he went out to the lake and called 00 the two priests at Kushan. That night he sat alone in a boat on the lake, watching the lights from the windows of Yumeitang on the top of the hill, where his colleagues were enjoying themselves at one of those usually boisterous wine dinners. Writing to a colleague, Chou Pin, he said: "The high note of your poems suggests the mountain clouds. You would not fall drunk on a woman's breast! If you won't pierce the country green with your sandals, Why not watch the boat cut ripples on the blue? I remember the gambling and shouting of Yuan Yentao; But where is the angry, cursing General Kuan? * The sunset and the breeze are nature's free gifts, Come to the lake, and share the cool evening air!" * Allusions, not to contemporaries, but to historic characters.